Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale has watched Noah Warren consistently drain three-pointers in practice at 11th and Moore. But the senior guard has struggled to do the same come game time.
"He got off to a slow start last year, and I think he began to press a little bit," Arrigale says.
Warren showed plenty of confidence in his perimeter shot against Abington in the second annual City Play-by-Play Classic on Saturday afternoon at Thomas Jefferson University. The 6-foot, 150-pounder buried 4 of 5 attempts from beyond the arc in the third quarter and scored a career-high 23 points, as the guard-driven Saints downed the previously undefeated Ghosts, 70-60.
Neumann-Goretti is trying to find its way after losing standouts Quade Green, now at Kentucky, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, who is playing for Villanova.
"Everyone is counting us out now that they're gone, but we're still a good team," Warren said. "Our goal is to show that."
Warren shot 8 for 12 from the field (5 for 6 on threes in the middle two quarters) and 2 for 2 from the line against Abington. The second-year starter added three rebounds and two assists.
Bouncing back from a season-opening loss to Shipley, of the Friends Schools League, N-G won its fourth straight. It topped Inter-Ac League preseason favorite Haverford School, 62-53, on Friday night.
"We have some potential," Arrigale said. "I'm not going to tell you we're going to reach it, but we're going to fight like heck to get there."
Warren, senior Dymir Montague and junior Christian Ings make up a talented but somewhat underrated backcourt for the defending PIAA Class 3A state champions.
"I love playing with these guys," Warren said. "We swing the ball to each other. No one is selfish."
Warren drilled back-to-back threes late in the third quarter to increase N-G's lead over the poor-shooting Ghosts (4-1) to 51-35.
Montague buried three treys en route to 19 points, with five assists. Ings contributed 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists; and 6-8 senior center and George Washington recruit Marcus Littles grabbed 9 rebounds and chipped in 7 points.
For Abington, the defending District 1 Class 6A champ, 6-7 junior forward Eric Dixon scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half. Seven of his 16 rebounds came on the offensive end.
In the second game at Jefferson, Ish Horn scored 20 points as Plymouth Whitemarsh pulled away from Archbishop Wood for a 55-43 win. Ahmin Williams scored 12, and 7-2 Naheem McLeod chipped in 11.
Bucknell recruit Andrew Funk paced Wood with 17 points. The Vikings' Tyree Pickron, a dynamic scorer who is bound for Quinnipiac, did not play because of an ankle injury.
Neumann-Goretti 12 17 22 19-70
Abington 10 16 11 23-60
NG: Christian Ings 14, Dymir Montague 19, Marcus Littles 7, Ja'Cor Smith 1, Noah Warren 23, Taquan Woodley 3, Ahmad Fair 3.
A: Robbie Heath 12, Darious Brown 3, Eric Dixon 26, Brandon Coffman 1, Lucas Monroe 16, J.P. Nolan 2.